What is better for your website: backlinks or content?

This week Ask an SEO The question comes from Bhargav in Hyderbad who asks:

“If I need to choose between backlinks or content, which should I work on first? Which will be most useful for site traffic? »

Hi, Bhargav!

This is a great question that almost every business owner and marketing team asks.

The good news is that there is a very simple answer.

Go with content

If you have to choose between creating content and building backlinks, go with content.

Here are four reasons:

Content is for your users

  • Backlinks are specifically for SEO purposes.
  • Content allows your users to interact with your site, generate impressions for ad space, purchase your products, and complete lead forms. Without content, there is no reason for a website to search for you (i.e. give you a backlink).

The only exception is when you are the very first person or business to provide a specific product or service.

And at this point, it’s probably mainstream media and organic press, not link building backlinks.

It’s also worth mentioning that backlinks to category and product pages aren’t natural links and don’t occur naturally unless you’re the maker.

And even then, news sites will normally source the business and your homepage against a category page.

Content is the reason people link

My second reason for saying content is more important for choosing content over backlinks is that the person needs a reason to link to your site “naturally”.

By creating informative resources, sharing data, suggesting ways to accomplish a specific task, or simply providing a cool and contextually relevant game or quiz, you’ve created a reason for someone to connect with you.

It’s the content that creates the reason for the link and helps make everything feel natural.

Content defines the topic of a page

Third, backlinks don’t always define what’s on the page, but backlinks give a signal about what might be there when keyword rich.

Content, on the other hand, defines the subject of a page using header tags, title tags, internal links, schema (although this is more technical SEO), etc

However, you must have a mix of backlink types, including:

  • Branded links rich in keywords and citations.
  • Dofollow, nofollow, sponsored, UGC, etc.
  • News/media, bloggers and content producers, comments and giveaways from forums and communities.
  • Directories, local guides and industry resource sections.

Please note that the above four points are all things that happen naturally.

I don’t recommend building and focusing on one or the other.

But if you don’t have a natural-looking mix, you could end up with a devaluation or manual action.

Content helps structure the site

My fourth reason is that content can help you build site structure and architecture through internal linking.

This is different from rank sculpting, which is done purely for SEO.

By creating a natural internal link structure, you’re trying to guide people to resources and buying options from helpful content like comparison guides.

This helps both website visitors and search engine spiders to discover the most important pages and topics on your website in a natural way.

Conclusion: Content is better for your website

Backlinks are important and help you rank.

But content works across all channels, from PPC and SEO to media coverage and referral traffic.

Good content can also lead to backlinks.

If you had to choose between the two, I would choose content.


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